Facial Expressions with Maya.

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  08 August 2013
Facial Expressions with Maya.


I've been making some models and I've kind of hit a roadblock. I want to try and have my characters have some sort of facial expressions --- at least make them blink. However, I'm really not sure the best way to go about it so I was looking for some tutorials.

I need to have the expressions be lightweight so I can't use blendshapes, and they have to kind of..be their own thing because the character overall is going to have several different skins that can be purchased which is going to change the colors of the character overall.

The models in and of themselves are going to have a lower polycount because they're meant for a mobile game.

Right now I'm still working on concepting so I haven't modeled anything yet, does anyone have any ideas for how to accomplish some lightweight and simple facial expressions?

Thanks in advance.
  08 August 2013
For some simple expression you can use bone based setup. Sometimes, I use cluster based set driven keys for the eyelid.
  08 August 2013
With bone-based setup you mean modeling some eyes and making them blink? I don't think that method would work since it would add extra bones and geometry to the model. Since it's mobile we have to keep is as light as possible.

Or are you meaning using bones to try and do something else with animating a plane or something? Could you clarify?
  08 August 2013
Are the models going to animate? If so, then you must rig them (joint based, curve based or blend shapes). If they are not for animation you can low poly model with right facial toplogy and manually model the expressions.
  08 August 2013
Yeah. They're going to have to be animated. So I guess then trying to work something with the rig would be the best way to go? Are there any tutorials out there to accomplish this?
  08 August 2013
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